The the current contract for food services in Newton Public Schools expires later this year. NPS put out a FRP (Food Service Request for Proposal) group and two proposals came in last week: one from Sodexo, the current provider, and one from Whitsons, the former provider. On March 28, the the working group who is in charge of hiring the new food services management company for Newton schools interviewed representatives from both companies.

Green Newton School Connections understands that choosing a food service provider is an important decision that affects the life of thousands of students in our district, because they need and deserve the best quality of food. School Connections also believes that our district needs stronger waste and sustainability practices from in schools cafeterias.

School’s Connections sent a hard copy of letter below to Liam Hurley and David Stickney in advance of the selection of a food service provider for the Newton Public Schools. We also know that many NNHS students have written persuasive letters to school committee member Matthew Miller, stressing the need for stronger waste and sustainability practices from our food provider.

On the sustainability side, we want to see NPS food services:

  1. improve the way they deliver the food,
  2. find reusable materials that are environmentally friendly,
  3. encourage students to bring their own cups, mugs and utensils — and offer a discount if they do,
  4. avoid single use plastic,
  5. work with Sustainability Director Waneta Trabert and the city on best recycling practices,
  6. use compostable materials as much as possible, and again, work with Ms. Trabert on a comprehensive composting system,
  7. ban straws with the exception of students with particular disabilities that require straws,
  8. ban water bottles (especially in vending machines as they use excess energy).

On the food side, we want to see:

  1. better quality of food, not necessarily endless choice,
  2. more fresh ingredients,
  3. more locally sourced ingredients,
  4. less packaging,
  5. less processed food,
  6. less food waste,
  7. vendor promotion of food recovery.

As we state in our letter, “We believe Newton MUST be a leader in sustainable practices and choose a sustainable food service provider.”